Tried calling our kin but couldn’t, say anxious Kashmiri students in Delhi

The Valley has been on the edge over the last few days, with the Centre mobilizing additional security reinforcements and locals stocking up on essential items.

Published: 06th August 2019 10:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2019 10:44 AM   |  A+A-

A Left party supporter holds up a placard, expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, during a protest against the Centre’s decision on Monday | arun kumar

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Kashmiri students in the city were a worried lot on Monday after the Centre withdrew Article 370, stripping the state of its special status guaranteed under the Constitution. Anxious to enquire about their kin back home, most said they couldn’t reach them on the phone.

The Valley has been on the edge over the last few days, with the Centre mobilizing additional security reinforcements and locals stocking up on essential items.

Sobia Bhat, a research scholar at South Asian University, said, “The government is acting like a big brother. The withdrawal of special status is an expression of the BJP’s landslide mandate. Article 370 used to define the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and, with its withdrawal; the ties have been damaged beyond repair. We are extremely scared and anxious about our families back home.”

She said much as the Kashmiri students based elsewhere are spending anxious days and are longing to go home at the earliest, it may not be possible with the elaborate security deployment in place.
Shahid Lone, a student at Jamia Millia Islamia and also a writer, said, “The unprecedented security build-up and measures announced by the BJP has put our state on a powder keg.”

Another research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who asked not to be named, said, “My family tells me not to post anything on social media or get involved in any needless discussion or debate. But you could be targeted even if you don’t indulge in any of these activities.”

“Your identity makes you a soft target,” she added.

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